Does the thought of having your teeth cleaned make your entire body tense with fear? Would you rather endure the agony of a toothache than step in a dentist's office? You're not alone. A lot of people are so phobic about going to the dentist that they prefer not to have any treatment.

For people who avoid dentists like the plague, sedation dentistry may take away some of their anxiety. Sedation can be used for everything from invasive procedures to a simple tooth cleaning. How it's used depends on the severity of the fear.

What is Sedation Dentistry?

Sedation dentistry uses medication to help patients relax during dental procedures. It's sometimes referred to as "sleep dentistry", although that's not entirely accurate. Patients are usually awake with the exception of those under general anesthesia.

Sedation we offer:

Inhaled minimal sedation: You breathe nitrous oxide-otherwise known as "laughing gas"-combined with oxygen through a mask that's placed over your nose. The gas helps you relax. Dr. B and Dr. Bowland can control the amount of sedation you receive, and the gas tends to wear off quickly. This is the only form of sedation where you may be able to drive yourself home after the procedure.

Oral sedation: Depending on the total dose given, oral sedation can range from minimal to moderate. For minimal sedation, you take a pill. Typically, the pill is Halcion, Valium, or a combination of both. These drugs are from the drug family, benzodiazepine, which are used to counteract anxiety. The pills will make you drowsy, although you'll still be awake. Larger doses will cause you to become groggy enough to fall asleep during the procedure, and have little memory of the procedure. You can be easily woken up with a gentle shake. You must have a driver take you to and from this appointment.